UK Financial Intelligence Unit

The UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) receives, analyses and distributes financial intelligence gathered from Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).

 As of 18th July 2016 the NCA changed its processes. The UKFIU produced a pdf new guidance document (90 KB) aimed at providing the correct pathways when concerns are raised in respect of vulnerable persons. The SARs regime is not a route to report a crime and this document signposts the reporter to the most appropriate reporting routes.

The UKFIU revised the SAR glossary codes on 16 January 2017. The revised pdf guidance booklet (240 KB) details the revised list with clarification on reporting routes. A pdf communication note (93 KB) provides details on the transition to the new codes.

As of 18th July 2016 the NCA is changing its processes for requesting a defence under POCA & TACT. Please see the two documents below for information:

pdf Requesting A Defence Under POCA TACT (302 KB)

pdf Changes to the 'Consent' Approach Requesting A Defence Under POCA & TACT (50 KB)

The pdf February 2017 SARs Reporter Booklet (181 KB) is out, containing a sanitised summary of feedback from law enforcement agencies on their use of SARs and including pertinent information and updates from the UKFIU.

How SARs are used to detect crime

A SAR is a piece of information that alerts law enforcement of potential money laundering or terrorist financing. This could be large cash purchases or a series of large, out of character deposits.

The UKFIU receives more than 380,000 SARs a year. These are used by a wide variety of law enforcement bodies to help investigate all levels and types of criminal activity; from benefit fraud to international drug smuggling, human trafficking to terrorist financing.

The UKFIU identifies the most sensitive SARs and sends them to the appropriate organisations for investigation. The remainder are made available to UK law enforcement bodies via a secure channel.

For information on reporting Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs)

Money laundering: European and international requirements

Each member of the European Union (EU) must have a national Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to comply with EU regulation and international standards.
The Third EU Money Laundering Directive (3MLD), effective from December 2007, was drawn up to fully implement the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) 40 recommendations in the EU.

The Directive requires member states to implement 3MLD in national legislation. It also describes the extent of the regulated sector and the money laundering obligations of those individuals and businesses.

More information on 3MLD.

 

SARs reporting in Northern Ireland

The NCA has taken over the running of the UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) and is responsible for receiving, analysing and disseminating financial intelligence submitted through the Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) Regime. Part 7 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) applies throughout the United Kingdom; this aspect was not amended by Schedule 24, Crime and Courts Act (2013). Therefore POCA applies as it did before the NCA came into being. Notwithstanding other aspects of how the NCA operates in Northern Ireland, reports under Part 7 of POCA should therefore continue to be made to the UKFIU within the NCA.

 

UKFIU partnerships

The UKFIU works in close partnership with other key international organisations to fight against money laundering.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body fighting money laundering. The FATF recommendations form an international benchmark for assessing the effectiveness of anti money laundering measures. You can find these recommendations on the FATF website.

The Egmont Group

The Egmont Group is an international forum for FIUs to stimulate cooperation in the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism.The UKFIU is a fully active member of the Egmont Group. Membership allows the UKFIU to seek financial intelligence from other members in order to support NCA operations and projects. It also acts as the conduit to this resource for the wider UK law enforcement community.

Further information

See links for further information on the The SARs regime and for the   pdf SARs Annual Report 2015 (672 KB)pdf . (535 KB)

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